Delaware County resident officially enters Bucks County congressional race

Dasha Prutt
Credit: Submitted

A Delaware County resident has officially entered the race for the First Congressional District, which covers all of Bucks County and a small portion of Montgomery County.

At an event at a restaurant and bar in the borough of Doylestown on Wednesday night, Republican Dasha Pruett announced she was running in the GOP primary in the First Congressional District.

In 2020, Pruett ran and lost to Democratic Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon in the Fifth Congressional District.

In a nomination paper filed this week with the Federal Election Commission, Pruett said she lives in the Drexel Hill section of Upper Darby Township, which is in Delaware County. She listed her campaign address as the Lower Southampton Post Office, a change from her last campaign mailing address in Havertown in Delaware County.

Pruett’s listed residence is about 20 miles from the First Congressional District, but she said Friday she intended to stay with her father at his home in Feasterville.

“I will pretty much be living in my dad’s house in Feasterville since the drive is crazy, although I don’t want to fool anyone and claim it as my residence. It was more important to file than to focus on the address,” she said.

Pruett resides in the Fifth Congressional District. It covers all of Delaware County and parts of Chester, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties.

In a previous interview, Pruett said she would consider moving to the First Congressional District if she ran.

All of Pruett’s Republican opponents live in Bucks County. Both Democrats running in their party’s primary for Congress reside in the county. The Green Party candidate lives in the district, but in Montgomery County.

Although rare in recent local congressional races, Pruett is not legally prohibited from living outside of the district in which she is running. The US Constitution and election laws do not require that candidates for the US House of Representatives live in the district they aim to represent. The Constitution requires a representative to be at least 25 years old and a U.S. citizen for at least seven years. In 2017, the The Washington Post reported at least 20 members of the United States House of Representatives lived outside their districts, often due to redistricting.

“The US Congress deals with issues at the national level. I will not only represent the people of Bucks County, but also the people of DELCO, MONTCO, PHILLY, CHESCO and every county in every state,” Pruett said Friday morning.

Pruett noted that incumbent Republican Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick, who was born and raised in Middletown Township, resided in California while serving as an FBI special agent.

“People are moving. I’ve moved 30 times, lived in five countries, two states and five counties, through no fault of my own. Hillary Clinton didn’t live in her state to run for the Senate, neither did Dr. Oz, and many others,” she said.

The residency of Republican U.S. Senate candidate for Pennsylvania Mehmet Oz, a doctor famous for having a syndicated TV talk show, has come into question in recent weeks. Although he said he lived in Keystone State, it appears he spent much of his pre-campaign time at his posh northern New Jersey residence.

Some Republicans have raised anger on social media over Pruett’s residence.

Pruett said she thinks “voters can see the big picture or worry about the fence we share.”

“We can focus on issues and platforms or my address. That’s the problem we have, we focus on the cupcakes, not the substance,” she said.

Pruett’s Platform is Based on “Pro-Capitalism” and “Anti-Socialism”, Low Taxes, Fair Trade, Reduced Regulations to Allow for Job Growth, End of Planned Government Funding Parenthood, a bill on fetal heart rate, drug addiction, and Second Amendment protection. She proudly supported former President Donald Trump.

Pruett, a mother and wife who immigrated to America as a child of the USSR, said she felt Fitzpatrick did not adequately represent her Republican values.

Fitzpatrick’s main opponents criticized his positioning as a more moderate Republican.

The congressman did not vote for Trump in 2016, but he said he voted for him last year and received Trump’s endorsement in the final days of the 2020 election. Fitzpatrick said that Trump should be censured but not impeached after the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.

Fitzpatrick, a resident of Middletown Township, has beaten his main competitors in his last three elections.

Bristol Township resident Caroline Avery and Upper Bucks County resident Bradley Lanning are already in the running for the Republican primary. Another Republican is expected to announce his campaign soon.

Bensalem Township U.S. Army veteran Ashley Ehasz and Lower Makefield Township U.S. Navy veteran Paul Fermo are running for the 2022 Democratic primary.

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